Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
OLB Jadeveon Clowney
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on what he saw after reviewing the tape of the game vs. Indianapolis) "I saw a team that obviously came out and got behind 24-0 for a variety of reasons. Offensively, we just made too many mistakes. In the first 32 plays of the game, we had some type of error. It wasn't all mental. It might have been technique or whatever it was, but it just proves again that we've got to do a better job coaching and we've got to do a better job playing. Eleven guys need to be on the same page. It's not one position. It's all 11 being on the same page. I think defensively, we've got to tackle better. We gave up too many hit-and-yardage type plays because we didn't tackle—the first guy didn't make the tackle. Special teams, we just can't allow that to happen, that onside kick. That's not good, but as you watch the tape, you see what type of team this is: this is a team that is a mentally tough team—a team that is never going to give up, which is good. This is team that is always going to keep fighting. Like I said to the team today, a bunch of great guys in the locker room, we've got a long season left. It's probably a good time for a little break here. Everybody needs to evaluate themselves and come back ready to go on Monday."
(on an updates on OLB Brooks Reed) "Again, I would list him in the day-to-day category, but I think he should be OK. We'll know more about that next week, over the weekend we'll see how he does, but he should be OK."
(on if OLB Jadeveon Clowney has chance to play at Pittsburgh on Monday night) "He's progressing. I would say that's still 50-50 whether he plays in that game or not, but he's getting better. He's working at it; they're out there on the field working out, jogging, cutting, doing different things to get him back. He wants to be back. He's working very hard to get back, but I think you have to be careful there bringing a guy back too early when he's not quite ready. We have, whatever it is, nine days, 10 days here. We've got some time to let that sort out and see where it's at but I would say right now, it's iffy whether he would be ready for Pittsburgh or not."
(on how G Xavier Su'a-Filo handed his first start) "It was OK. He battled out there, but he has a lot of improvement to make. There are certain plays where he did a really good job, blocked very well and other plays where I'm sure he wishes he had the play back. He's a great kid; a very hard-working kid. He's going to get better and better the more experience that he gets."
(on how they can utilize the extended time off before the next game) "What we'll do as a
coaching staff is we have to go back and review these six games, really study these games, study our tendencies, do what we call self-scout and make sure that we're on top of that, study our players, make sure that we're putting our players in the right position to make plays, evaluate that part of it too. Our players need to take these couple days off. They'll be off Saturday, Sunday—take these days off and rest, get better and then they need to evaluate themselves. They need to go in there and watch the tape and evaluate their own performances and see what they can do better when they get back here on Monday. I think if we all do that, then I think we will continue to try and get better and better."
(on if he thinks this is a good time for an extended break) "I think it is. We had a long training camp, tough training camp. This is six games in, which is about close to the halfway point, which is a pretty good time for a little break. Just seeing how the last two games went. They were tough games, physically tough games, so I think it is a good time for a break."
(on how does a veteran quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick get better week-to-week when his numbers have been consistent with his career averages) "I think each year is different. I understand the question when you look at just numbers. If you just look at numbers on a piece of paper and you say, 'OK. This guy's numbers are the same as they have been his whole career.' I think that's different then looking at exactly what's happened. If you look at last night's game, when he had a clean pocket and he was able to stand back there and throw the football, he threw a great touchdown pass to Andre Johnson. He had another great back shoulder to Andre down to the two-yard line. He had some really nice throws. When we had breakdowns in protection, whether it was the line, the backs or the tight ends, he was under duress. So it's all these guys working together. I know that the quarterback position is a high profile position. I understand that. I really do. But at the same time, all 11 guys, all 11 guys need to be on the same page on every single play. That's hard to do. We've got to get better at that. We've got a lot of guys that have played a lot of football in this league that need to play better and we need to coach it better. I think if we continue to take that theme and understand that, we'll see improvement. We have to start these games better. These games aren't started out very well. That's one thing we've got to do is come out of the gates better."
(on if he ever worries about QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's confidence) "I don't. I don't worry about his confidence. We have good weeks of practice, good mental sessions with him, then we go out to practice and he does a good job in practice. He appears to be ready to go. So I don't have any problem with what I see from him as being a confident player."
(on what are things that can be done to fix the slow starts) "I think the players need to make up their minds that they're going to start well. I think we can do maybe a better job of maybe a few different play class here and there, but at the end of the day, offensively if we start the game with a positive play- first down, gain four, gain five; second and five, then gain three- then it's a positive or manageable third down. We get that first first down, we're able to get into a good tempo, a good rhythm and we're going. And you can say that about most offenses. Defensively, with the exception of last night, we've come out and played pretty well in the beginning of games for the most part. We've got to get back to doing that defensively. Special teams wise we can never let that happen what happened last night. That's just not good football. That's on both sides. That's coaching and playing. We can never let that happen. We have to be alert for all those types of things and do a better job with that. But I think at the end of the day once we put the game plan in, the players need to go out there and start the game the way they're supposed to start the game. We'll continue to look at that as a coaching staff and try to put them in the right plays."
(on if QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is locked in as the starting quarterback) "He's our starter. That's what I was trying to say. Again, I'm trying to articulate this the right way. You look at numbers on a piece of paper, yeah, you can look at anybody's numbers and you can decide how you want to define those numbers. When you look at the film, the film never lies. What the film shows us is that everybody on offense has to play better. Everybody. The line has to play better, the backs have to play better, the tight ends, the receivers and we have to coach better. We've got to get these players to understand better what we want them to do. And I think once we start seeing that, we see more consistent play from everyone, then all the positions will be in better shape including quarterback. Again, I think it comes down to a lot of times last night he was hit in his fifth step or his third step and he had a guy right in his face or maybe there was a miscommunication on his part of what we were trying to do. And he has to clean that up himself. Everybody has to do better."
(on where the team is compared to where he thought they could be after six games) "Here is what this team is: I think that this team is a team right now that wins close and loses close. I think even if you look at the Giant game, we had cut that lead to I think a touchdown, even though the score didn't look close at the end, but I felt like that was a close game for a while in the second half. We win close, we lose close. What's the difference in those games where we're winning close and then the ones where we're losing close? It's these errors that we're making that we have to coach better. It's these mistakes that we're making, whether it's lack of communication on the field or maybe a wrong route or wrong read or wrong coverage check or whatever it might be, a missed tackle here or there. If we can eliminate the majority of those mistakes, you'll see a team that begins to win. I think that this is a team that once we start winning this is a team to be reckoned with, but until we start doing that and understanding that we have to fix those mistakes, then we'll be win-close, lose-close. We'll be back and forth like that. One thing that I will say though and I say this a lot, just because and I haven't really said this to anybody today, but I think our crowd is the best crowd in the NFL. When (J.J.) Watt returned that fumble for a touchdown, I've never heard a stadium that loud in my life. Remember now, I coached at Penn State where there were 107,000 people at a lot of games. This stadium and our fans mean so much to our players. Again, we all wish that the outcome was different last night, but we can't say thank you enough to our fans and the city of Houston for the support. Again, we need them to keep coming out."
(on DE J.J. Watt being mentioned as a MVP candidate and what that would mean for a defensive player and what he's been doing) "I think when you look at what he's done and how he affects games, everybody looks at the stats and they look at two sacks here or the touchdowns. He affects the game on almost every play with the way he plays. I think that Romeo (Crennel) and the defensive staff, Bill Kollar, they do a good job of moving him around so that it's hard to know where he's lined up. He's able to affect the game in every position. I think when you look at that, for our football team, he's a very valuable member of our football team. That is for sure. When you look at that and you see on—the thing that's tough for you guys is you don't see some of those plays where he actually affects the play even just by beating the guard and the quarterback has to get rid of it a lot sooner than he wants to or by nipping a running back's heels as he's running an outside zone and trips him up and the next guy comes in and tackles him because he got penetration on the play. He affects the game in quite a few different ways."
(on how you keep a couple close losses from mushrooming like it did in 2013) "That's kind of what I'm talking about. I think we all just watched the film together, offensively and defensively. We sat in there and we communicated to the players on how we want these plays to look. When they look and I'll use an offensive example: when Arian (Foster) ran that run going to the left of our bench-there on an inside zone, he didn't get touched going into the end zone. That was great. It was a very well blocked play. It was communicated properly. It was a great formation and he went into the end zone clean. When we do things right, we look pretty good, but when we have these up and down plays whether it's miscommunicated or there is a mistake, we have to clean those up. I think the players watch it and they understand it; there's not finger-pointing. Coaches are in it. We have to coach it better. I think they all understand that we're in it together and they're going to work real hard to improve it. That's how you end up cleaning those things up."
(on if he had a problem with WR DeAndre Hopkins going after the fumble at the end of the game) "No, I had no problem with how anyone reacted on that play. I just had a problem on the play that we fumbled, obviously."
(on G Brandon Brooks) "He woke up sick yesterday. He had nausea and had that bad bug, so we had to de-activate him, but he's doing better today."
OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on how he feels right now) "I'm feeling alright, but I can feel a lot better. Taking it one day at a time, getting healthy. The trainers are helping me out a lot, getting me back into football shape and getting my knee back."
(on having to manage his emotions when he comes back) "That's what they like about me. I come out there fired up. I want to hit somebody. I haven't hit nobody in a long time. It's been about a month. I'm looking forward to that."
(on if he's been able to cut at all) "I'm doing a little bit of cutting. Yeah. It's coming along pretty well. I can cut, run straight. It's just time, all up to the time."
(on if he's having problems trusting his knee) "Yeah I trust it. The second day I started running back like two or three weeks ago, I'm like, 'I'm running full speed.' I took off and they're like, 'You're not supposed to be doing that yet.'"
(on how he's been staying involved) "It's helping me out a lot. I've been learning a lot of football since I've been here. I'm learning from the older guys up front and behind me. It's something I like. Keeping up with what's going on and in the meeting room."
(on what he can do for the defense) "I'm just going to try and get after the quarterback, pass rush and do my job."
(on what DE J.J. Watt has been able to do without him and if he can help the defense) "I believe so. Just play hard, getting after the quarterback, making the plays, I think I can do that."
(on when he knows he's ready to go) "I have no clue. Just time, day by day."
(on if he'd like to be back for Monday Night Football) "I would like that. If I can go, I'll play. If I can't, I'll just sit out."
(on if he has any input into when he returns) "I think so. I talked to the trainers the other about how I'm responding to the drills and everything they've got me doing. Just time will tell. It's the healing process right now.
(on DE J.J. Watt's play against the Colts) "I think Watt played great every game so far. He played with a great emotion and effort out there. He gives his 100 percent every time he's out on the field. Great leader, he's just a hardworking guy. He's out there giving his all. I'm just ready to go out and help him."
(on his success in college and seeing J.J. Watt doing impressive things) "I see myself doing the same thing. I was just telling, I remember when I used to do that in college. He was like, yeah I know. So, he's doing it on the next level. I want to come out and compete with the guys and help them try to get a win."
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
(on his thoughts of the game) "Same as yesterday. We need to get off to a better start. Then we had a chance at the end to drive down and win it, and didn't get it done. Just a wasted opportunity."
(on the fumble at the end of the game) "Looked to my right to throw, didn't like it. Looked down the middle, pumped it. I just need to take off in that situation or thrown it in the dirt. One of the two."
(on how he feels running the offense after six games) "There is still a lot of room for improvement. We've talked about getting off to better starts, but when we get in our groove you see what this offense can be. It's just a matter of doing it all the time."
(on not getting the ball to the receivers and the tight ends) "We hit Arian Foster on a decent gain yesterday on third down out of the backfield. We'd like to continue to do more of that stuff, but there is only so many balls to go around. Andre (Johnson) is going to get his ball. DeAndre (Hopkins) is going to get his. Then everybody else kind of falls in after that."
(on how the team utilizes the next few days before Pittsburgh) "The next few days, today we'll review the tape and kind of get the necessary treatments and all that. This weekend is really a time to get away from it a little bit. Rest your body, rest your mind, just kind of have a few days away from it where you can refresh. And we'll come back ready to go on Monday."
(on having a few days off before a big game next week) "I think anytime in the NFL season when you get a few extra day of rest, you've got to take advantage of it because it is such a long season whether it is mentally taxing or physically or whatever. It will be good for us I think. But you know, it's going to be a long time until we play our next game. You always want that Thursday night game to be a win because of that because now we're sitting back and thinking of all the things we could have done different the last two games."
(on what he thought about having G Xavier Su'a-Filo out on the field) "I talked to X (Su'a-Filo) a little bit this morning. I haven't watched the film or do I rarely watch the lineman or anything. Just in terms of how he felt out there and everything. It's always tough getting out there your first time and going game speed. You figure out real quick that it's different than preseason, different than college. X is a guy that really works hard at it. We're looking forward to him having a bright future."
(on what he pinpoints as the reason for slow starts) "Nope. Just got to come out more focused I think. More focused and ready to go. Just continue to make it a point of emphasis."
(on if the Colts were doing something to take WR DeAndre Hopkins out of the game) "I just think of the balls that were in the air, a lot of times when it was one-on-one the matchup with Andre (Johnson) was really good it and it was working. That might have limited DeAndre a little bit because of that."
(on WR Andre Johnson taking the blame for the loss because of his fumble) "You sit back and you look at a game like that and think of all the things, like first of all like for me what I could have done differently. Obviously the last fumble was one of them for me. There is a lot of things in the game, so when you sit and see a guy like Andre shoulder the blame for a mistake that he rarely makes, then it just shows the guy's comfortable with who he is and comfortable shouldering the blame and he's a teammate that you love to have."